Planning an overnight/weekend trip with my family is a significant source of stress and worry for me. I mainly worry that I will forget to do something or bring something.
Ever since I forgot the extra seat to my Phil & Ted double stroller at home during a weekend trip to Boston with two very small children – disastrous! So we stay home a lot which makes those even less frequent trips even more stressful. And to make matters worse I unfortunately also tend to release that stress and worry onto my husband and/or kids. So needless to say I was not looking forward to this weekend in Boston. My husband had a Friday night job and we had a family obligation on Saturday so it only made sense to travel together and stay Friday night. Maybe I would be too sick to go – after all I AM sick with one of those coughs that keep you up at night. Accepting I couldn’t get out of this one I starting the planning – pay bills and do laundry on Thursday, pack Friday morning, etc.
During this trip something strange happened. I had a good time – imagine that! I didn’t bicker with my husband and I had nice quality time with my kids! I think it was partially my cold dulling my nerves but also a complete surrender on my part to the whole experience. My kids had a great time packing their bags with activities on Thursday night. Once we got there they had the best time just checking-out the hotel room. They were amused for at least an hour and a half putting their things in draws, testing out the bed and TV, and using the soaps and lotions. We has a nice 10 minute walk to South Station (with my Phil & Ted double stroller!) where we had an early supper in the food court and looked at the model train holiday display. When we got back the kids had a bath and then we all cuddled under the duvet and went to sleep early (or they did, I was hacking away). I didn’t remember to bring everything but it was okay, I stayed calm. I also remembered something really important. Humans are highly adaptable. We can make do and if we just can’t make do we can run over to Macy’s for shoes, socks, a tie (the things my husband forgot).
- Take a peaceful moment once everyone has gone to bed and visualize the trip; the car ride, time of day, how long, visualize the hotel, your family, all the activities planned and make a written list of all the things you’ll need (bring the list to bed – I always think of something important as I’m falling asleep)
- Pack things that are versatile like comfortable shoes that also look nice, darker colored clothes that are comfortable enough to sleep in and don’t show the dirt.
- If you have your child pack their own bag with activities take an inventory so you make sure everything comes home with you (I like to avoid tears); also leave those library books at home!
- Small children overnight essentials: activities like books and toys, cuddly stuffed animal for sleeping, sippy-cups and snacks, zip-lock bag of wipes, STROLLER, 2 complete outfits, sweatshirt, brush, toothbrushes)
- Smaller children additions: diaper bag, wipe-able bib, pack-n-play, and baby Tylenol (just in case!)
- And Mom, don’t forget your camera, phone, chargers for both, and ibuprofen (just in case!)